Every time I visit the South, I am reminded anew of how special and comforting Southern cuisine is. Cajun Shrimp and Grits are one of the best ways to enjoy it, no matter where you live.
The South, but it draws me in every time I visit.
Maybe it’s the charming accent? The more relaxed pace of life?
And oh yes, it is Southern cuisine.
While I can’t pretend to be an expert at the real deal, I enjoy taking classic Southern dishes like shrimp and grits and adding my own healthy twists and preparation shortcuts to make them attainable for the average home cook.
Now, I’m sharing my version of Cajun shrimp and grits.
The shrimp is boldly-spiced, and the grits are rich, comforting, and perfectly suited for pairing with gooey sharp cheddar and Parmesan.
With exceptional flavor and a lightened-up ingredients list, this is truly the BEST shrimp and grits recipe when you need an easy dinner.
5 Star Review
“This recipe was absolutely perfect. This was much lighter but tasted exactly right.”— Andrea —
How to Make Cajun Shrimp and Grits
Not only is this recipe exceptionally tasty and comforting, but it’s also lightning fast.
Front to back, these skinny cajun shrimp and grits are ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Shrimp. Protein-packed, quick-cooking, and delicious.
- Shrimp Seasoning. A cajun-inspired mix of paprika, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, pepper, and salt. It’s smoky, a little spicy, and packed with bold flavors.
- Grits. Due to their mild, neutral flavor, grits are a blank canvas. In this recipe, they soak up the buttery, cheesy goodness and Cajun seasonings from the shrimp.
- Butter. Grits and butter were meant to be. The butter helps ensure the grits are rich, creamy, and flavorful. Traditional grits often call for half-and-half, but I found the grits to be plenty rich and creamy without it.
- Cheese. What goes well in shrimp and grits? Cheese does! Parmesan and sharp cheddar cheese pair perfectly with the Cajun seasonings and melt lusciously into the grits.
- Green Onions. For a touch of freshness and crunch.
- Cook the grits, then add butter, pepper, cheese, and green onions.
- Toss the shrimp with the seasonings and oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 to 6 minutes. Serve the shrimp over the grits with additional cheese and green onions. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate shrimp and grits in separate airtight storage containers for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze shrimp and grits in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Saucepan. You’ll love this saucepan for everything from grits to sauces.
- Baking Sheet. Perfect for baking the shrimp.
- Cheese Grater. High-quality and incredibly easy to use.
Until next time, y’all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! If you want Cajun shrimp and grits with sausage, add cooked andouille sausage to the finished grits with the shrimp. (Fans of shrimp and andouille sausage, you’ll love my Cajun Shrimp Boil Foil Packets.)
New Orleans is known for shrimp and grits that’s full of flavor and that uses tomato. If you’d like to make this into a Cajun shrimp and grits tomato recipe, you can add halved cherry tomatoes with the green onions.
Cajun Shrimp and Grits
For the Grits:
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking or regular grits not instant
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese about 2 ounces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese about 1 ounce, plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions white and green parts, plus additional for serving
For the Shrimp:
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound medium shrimp 25 count, peeled and deveined, with tails on
- In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt, then slowly add the grits in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the butter, black pepper, cheeses, and green onions.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss gently to coat. Spread the shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast the shrimp for 5 to 6 minutes, until just pink and cooked through.
- Serve the shrimp over the grits, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese and green onions.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate shrimp and grits in separate airtight storage containers for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
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